When I was a little girl, I was so proud of being able to swing myself back and forth, without being pushed, at the park. My parents were canny, reserving playground trips as a special treat, and I loved every minute of them: I could balance on a swing, even stand up on it, using both hands and legs, and I felt normal, like other children, and that felt good. I spent hours at that, while my parents (usually my father) would watch and wait nearby.
I still like going to the playground and having a go on a swing. Rarely happens, but I still enjoy it. I’m remembering childhood time at the playground, because over the past few weeks, swings and roundabouts have become more of a metaphor. Meetings with the CMHT have determined that my life is something of one big ride on a swing. The lengths of the lows I experience, and my retained ability to enjoy things suggest that, actually, my mental health problems are down to a more long-standing issue; my mood swings and self-harm a more integral part of my personality. I’ve been referred to Psychology now (oh, the irony) who, from my notes, think I’d be a perfect candidate for dialectical behavioural-type therapy. Assessment is soon.
For now, the highs are high, and the lows are low. Had a lovely time over the weekend, with two friends, separately. Then, on Sunday, something snaps, and I’m angry and bitter, and can’t shake off a really bad mood. “We are made in love, by love, for love”. One of the most positive things a minister could say. My mind: “Well, sod that. I can’t do love. I am rubbish. I don’t want to be here anymore”. I stand still in the road, watching the bus getting closer, and think, why not. Feet away, the bus driver’s eyes meet mine, and I know it won’t happen. I move. And someone later that day says something that reminds me that I am loved by God, and the bitterness melts, and all is calm and OK again.